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F-PROT Professional vs. F-PROT Shareware

Comparison issues that corporate anti-virus evaluators may find helpful

Command Software Systems, Inc. co-develops F-PROT Professional with Fridrik Skulason of Iceland, who originated the shareware version of F-PROT. Additional support is provided by many other anti-virus developers. Command Software Systems' F-PROT Professional has been developed for individuals and organizations who require the following product enhancements:

  1. File integrity checker
    CHECK is a secondary utility program included with F-PROT Professional. It provides an added layer of protection to help insure the integrity of your programs if a new/unknown virus were to strike. It instantly prevents modified programs from running and can serve as an approved application database. For instance, if one of these viruses attacks a program that has been registered with the file integrity checker, that program can be restored to its original state. This program is not a conventional database, it uses complex algorithmic functions (not simple cyclical redundancy checks).
  2. Intelligent Boot Sector Recovery and Replacement Utility
    FIXDISK is a another utility program included with the F-PROT Professional package that performs several valuable functions. Among these are:
    • A standard installation of F-PROT Professional calls the FIXDISK utility and saves a hidden and encrypted file that is a copy of the MBR of your system. In the unlikely event your MBR is damaged, FIXDISK can rebuild it from this file.
    • Should a new virus attack your MBR, FIXDISK can store a copy of this file on a floppy and rebuild your MBR with the hidden file.
    • If the hidden file is not found, or has been damaged in some way, FIXDISK can attempt a generic rebuild.
    • If needed, a copy of the infected MBR that was saved, can be uploaded to our BBS for expedient analysis.
  3. NetWare Loadable Module (optional)
    F-PROT Professional for NetWare can be used on Novell network servers to complement F-PROT Professional which protects the local workstations. It allows detection of viruses in real time. Among other features, F-PROT for NetWare can perform an automatic full scan of the server at scheduled days and times and only when the server's utilization rate drops below a certain point. This permits system administrators to perform other functions and frees up a local workstation. According to independent reports, the NLM uses substantially less memory and system resources than any similar product, yet recognizes more viruses than the competition.
  4. Enhanced communication
    1. Novell and Banyan Vine users/groups can be designated for notification if virus-like activity occurs on a particular machine.
    2. Windows messaging allows users of Microsoft Windows graphical user interface to be alerted to virus like activity on their machine.
    3. F-PROT Professional for Windows will copy scan logs and virus descriptions to the Windows Clipboard in order to allow the user to create extensive management reports using any Windows word processor.

  5. Better central administration/maintenance
    1. A proprietary file enables the TSR used for real time protection of workstations to be loaded from the login script without causing conventional memory fragmentation.
    2. Two batch file templates can be used to ensure that all workstations attached to the server are loaded with anti-virus protection and use the most current version. If they do not have the most current version loaded, they will be updated automatically.

  6. Aggressive development
    Key features are developed according to customer input. Recent additions include:
    1. F-PROT Professional for Windows 95, Windows NT, and OS/2 are entirely new programs that combine the powerful anti-viral tools of the industry standard, F-PROT Professional, with the ease-of-use of their respective operating systems.
    2. The FIXDISK utility can generically disinfect a boot sector virus. This is useful when a new virus attacks.
    3. The /ACCESS switch preserves the last access date of files on NetWare servers.
    4. The /TODAY switch automatically performs a full scan just once a day, not every time you reboot.
    5. The /ARCHIVE switch provides the ability to scan for viral infections within ZIP files.
  7. Toll-Free technical support
    Immediate help by our technical support representatives, including certified NetWare engineers, is available to registered users of our product. If a crisis were to arise after normal business hours, our answering service will forward your emergency calls to members of the technical team who will respond within one hour.
  8. BBS and FTP sites
    CSS's BBS and FTP sites enable system administrators to conveniently download the most current version of F-PROT Professional twenty four (24) hours a day. Also, anyone reporting a new virus can upload an infected file or copy of the MBR for expedient analysis.

    Features Chart

    A quick reference table of F-PROT Professional utility programs and benefits.

    Command Software Systems:

    • Installation Routine
      Shareware: None
      Command Software Systems: A step-by-step INSTALL program that leads the user through basic questions about their system. An INSTALL.DAT file can be modified by system administrators to provide non-interactive installations for individual users

    • Real-time Virus Scanning
      Shareware: VIRSTOP.EXE
      Command Software Systems: VIRSTOP.EXE. The installation routine places VIRSTOP and NOVCAST at the bottom of the AUTOEXEC.BAT file. An extensive series of command-line switches may optionally be used to configure VIRSTOP. Any of the switches can be preset with a utility called VSCONFIG which allows system administrators to distribute VIRSTOP from the server, without the use of command-line switches.

    • Daily Scanning
      Shareware:Not Available
      Command Software Systems: F-PROT.EXE. The /TODAY switch is a command-line option that will allow scanning to occur only once in any 24-hour period.

    • Version Checking
      Shareware:Not Available
      Command Software Systems:The V-CHECK command is used to compare the memory-resident version of VIRSTOP with the current release and return an error-level message. Provides for easier server-based upgrades.

    • Server Protection
      Shareware:Not Available
      Command Software Systems: NETPROTQ.NLM A small (60k) Novell NLM that is also the fastest network scanner available.

    • Broadcast TSR for Windows and Novell
      Shareware: Not Available
      Command Software Systems: NOVCAST.EXE This will broadcast a VIRSTOP virus alert over a Novell network as well as into a Windows screen.

    • Broadcast TSR for Window and Banyan
      Shareware: Not Available
      Command Software Systems: BANCAST.EXE This will broadcast a VIRSTOP virus alert and report logging over a Banyan/Vines network as well as into a Windows screen.

    • Integrity Checking
      Shareware: Not Available
      Command Software Systems: CHECK.EXE Builds a checksum database of all of the executable files on the hard drive and alerts you to changes.

    • TSR Integrity Check
      Shareware: CHKSTOP.EXE
      Command Software Systems: CS-TSR.EXE Compares the CHECK database to each file executed and warns of mismatches.

    • TSR Loading from a Script
      Shareware: Not Available
      Command Software Systems: LOGIN.COM This login allows TSRs to be loaded from a script without the memory fragmentation caused by Novell's LOGIN.EXE.

    • Command-line Reboot
      Shareware: Not Available
      Command Software Systems: REBOOT.COM Allows a command-line reboot of the computer which is useful after updates to ensure correct version.

    • Master Boot Record Repair
      Shareware: FIXBOOT Will only repair diskettes A: or B:
      Command Software Systems: FIXDISK.EXE Will save the MBR to a data file and can attempt to repair/rebuild the hard disk drive. Repair of unknown boot sector viruses is possible by restoring a pre-saved MBR.